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Subject: RE: Rockbox Intellectual Property question

RE: Rockbox Intellectual Property question

From: Jerry Van Baren <>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 11:46:53 -0400

I'm not a lawyer and don't play one on TV, but I stand by my previous
assertion that patents are a way for lawyers to print money and have very
little benefit to anybody else. This is at every level:

1) Patent applications are relatively inexpensive, BUT lawyers quickly get
involved in writing, rewriting, defending the application with the USPTO, etc.

2) Patents that are not vigorously defended are a waste of time and money,
so more lawyers get involved in litigating patents.

The best way to protect yourself is to publish your "patentable"
idea. This can be as simple (I'm told) as printing copies and handing them
out at the local shopping mall while videotaping for proof :-). Obviously,
making it Open Source would be an excellent way to publish ;-). This won't
protect you from a lawsuit, but should make it much easier to defend
yourself from a bogus patent.

Reference (one of many):
Don Lancaster's "The Case Against Patents"
see also


At 07:13 AM 5/21/2003 -0400, wrote:
>But, one would have thought they'd find that the Netscape browser supported
>frames TWO YEARS before the request for the patent on "static navigation
>over dynamic pages" submitted.
>It seems that it's the gold rush right now in patent land. He who applies
>first seems to win, even though the law says he who invented first and
>applies within one year should win. However, once the patent is awarded it's
>up to a court fight, which is expensive. So, to me (not a lawyer) it seems
>that if you have a good idea and want to protect it, apply for a patent,
>otherwise you may find yourself, several years later, having to pay for a
>license to your own idea!
>Look at the shopping cart patent, the DNS lookup patent (sheesh!), etc.
>Anyway, I'm getting off topic for the purpose of this list, sorry...
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Vladimir Pantelic []
>Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2003 4:36 PM
>Subject: Re: Rockbox Intellectual Property question
>Jonah, Jim wrote:
> > IANAL,
> >
> > Since you've "published" the work it's now prior art. The question is,
> > the patent office find this work when they do the search? Based on the
> > patents they are issuing they are not doing a good job of searching.
>They might find this one:
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Received on 2003-05-21

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